We’ve all heard the usual stories (old wives tales really) about pennies we find on the sidewalk or in a parking lot. Some “tales” say those pennies could bring good luck or they may be gifts from angels. Here’s a little story (with a twist on all the old wives tales) to give you something to ponder…
Several years ago, my friend Kendra and her husband George were invited to spend the weekend at the home of George’s boss. Kendra was anxious about the weekend because Mr. Ryhill was very wealthy. He owned a spectacular home on the lake shore and had several vehicles that cost more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Kendra was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. Mr. Ryhill was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Kendra knew she would never have an opportunity like this again to indulge in such extravagance, so she enjoyed herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant for dinner on the last evening of the visit, Mr. Ryhill was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and George. He stopped suddenly, looked down on the pavement and paused…
Kendra wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, Mr. Ryhill reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up, smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. “How absurd,” Kendra thought, “what need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?”
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he found was valuable.
A smile crept across his face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She’d seen many pennies before! What was the point of him showing her the penny?
“Look at it and read what it says” Mr Ryhill said.
“No, not that; read further..”
“No, keep reading.”
“In God we Trust?”
“And…?” Kendra questioned
Mr Ryhill continued, “And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him! Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I stop and pray, and ask the Lord to give me the grace I need to trust in God at that moment. You see, I pick the coin up as a response to God to remind me to trust in Him always. For a short time, at least, I cherish that penny as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. I am so thankful God is patient with me and pennies are plentiful!”
Several days after Kendra arrived home she was out shopping and found a penny on the sidewalk. She stopped, picked it up, and realized that she had been worrying and fretting in her mind about things she couldn’t change, then she read the words, “In God We Trust,” and laughed. “Yes God” she spoke aloud, ” I get the message.”
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7
“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” Psalm 40:4
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:8
“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:7
” If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” 1 Timothy 4: 6-15